The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

A Message from the Director: Highlights from 2018

A Message from the Director: Highlights from 2018

I arrived at the CSG Justice Center aware that the field of criminal justice has changed dramatically since our inception in 2007, presenting our organization and others with new challenges and exciting opportunities. As we entered our second decade, I felt that we first needed to be sure we understand who we are, what we stand for, and how we fit into this growing field.

Reentry Essentials: Prioritizing Treatment for Substance Addictions

Reentry Essentials: Prioritizing Treatment for Substance Addictions

A large proportion of people in the criminal justice system have substance addictions. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need, providing appropriate treatment programming, and taking a strategic approach across systems.

The Guidance Center Releases Free Roll Call Mental Health Training Series for Police Departments Across the Country

The Guidance Center Releases Free Roll Call Mental Health Training Series for Police Departments Across the Country

A new series of free web-based training modules that provide officers with effective tools for readily recognizing signs of mental illness and interacting with people who may be in crisis has been produced through a partnership between The Guidance Center (a nonprofit child and family mental health service provider) and the Los Angeles Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Announcements

2019 National Conference on Juvenile Justice

2019 National Conference on Juvenile Justice

The conference will provide an opportunity for judges, probation officers, detention facility employees, and other stakeholders in the juvenile justice system to discover new and improved practices, share cutting-edge research, and explore positive case outcomes for youth involved in the delinquency system.

Twelfth Academic Health & Policy Conference on Correctional Health

Twelfth Academic Health & Policy Conference on Correctional Health

The conference will provide a forum for researchers, clinicians, administrators, educators, policymakers, and grant funding leaders to network, share evidence, and learn about emerging research and relevant policy updates in the field of correctional health care.

Webinars

2018 Second Chance Act Orientation for Reentry for Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Grant Program

2018 Second Chance Act Orientation for Reentry for Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Grant Program

In this webinar, representatives from the NRRC, along with staff from BJA, provide an overview of the Second Chance Act’s Reentry for Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (CSAMI) grant program and explain the training and technical assistance opportunities that are available to grantees, including the Planning & Implementation Guide, and other resources available to grantees.

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar provides an overview of national estimates of incarcerated veterans; explains components of the Veterans Health Administration’s veterans justice programs; expands awareness of the needs of veterans in the justice system; and discusses new developments in the Veterans Administration and community interventions to provide services to veterans in the justice system.

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar features Roger Peters, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The webinar discusses the prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders among people involved in the criminal justice system, as well as effective screening and assessment instruments to use with this population.

Publications

Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Second Presentation

Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Second Presentation

The second presentation to Oregon’s Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee prompted discussion that enabled the committee to reach agreement on a project framework that will become the basis for subsequent resource and policy discussions.

Homelessness in America: Focus on Individual Adults

Homelessness in America: Focus on Individual Adults

This publication summarizes the most relevant data and research regarding different subpopulations to help inform the work that must happen across the federal government, states, and local communities to end homelessness.

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2017

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2017

This report uses the most recent final mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System to update trends in drug overdose deaths, describe demographic and geographic patterns, and identify shifts in the types of drugs involved.

Best Practices for Successful Reentry for People Who Have Opioid Addictions

Best Practices for Successful Reentry for People Who Have Opioid Addictions

This fact sheet from the National Reentry Resource Center describes the best practices that correctional, community-based behavioral health, and probation and parole agencies can implement within their systems to ensure reentry for people who have opioid addictions is safe and successful.

Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Overview

Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Overview

This publication outlines the scope of a Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment approach in Oregon to develop a statewide policy framework to help support tribal government, county, and local systems in improving recidivism and health outcomes for the small but important group of people who repeatedly cycle through the public safety and health systems.

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program Resource Center

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program Resource Center

This resource center is an online clearinghouse of information, training, and other resources that support a variety of state, local, and tribal users, including BJA COAP grantees, policymakers, partner agencies and associations, peer recovery coaches, and families affected by the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Recent headlines

Lafayette Parish Receives $750,000 Mental Health Grant

The grant continues established partnerships among the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, Acadiana Area Human Services District, Beacon Community Connections Inc., and 232-HELP.

Stepping Up Initiative Kicks off in Champaign County

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton is the project director for the Ohio Stepping Up initiative. Instead of addressing mental illness in jails on a county-by-county basis, Stratton said, Ohio is tackling the problem on a statewide basis. Including Champaign County, there are currently 45 counties in Ohio participating in the initiative.

LEAD Diversion Program Is Expanding to the City of Burien, Washington

As the new year kicks off, so does the design for Burien’s version of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), a program that brings police, prosecutors and case managers together to move nonviolent, low-level offenders away from the criminal justice system and toward stability.

Homeless People with Drug Addiction to Be Offered Rehab over Jail in New Program

For homeless people dealing with drug addiction, life can be an endless loop of arrests and incarcerations, often leading back to the street to repeat the cycle. In the near future, homeless people found to be under the influence of drugs when contacted by San Diego police officers will have a chance to break that cycle with an offer to meet with drug counselors rather than return to jail.

Time Is Running out for Federally Funded Mental-Health Clinics

An experimental mental-health and addiction treatment program that has shown early success in combating the opioid crisis is at risk of losing its federal funding. An estimated 9,000 patients could lose access to medication-assisted treatment, and 3,000 clinic jobs could be lost if the funding is not renewed, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health.

How One County Became a Lab for California’s Prison Reform

While overall crime in California increased slightly after 2011, San Joaquin County’s dropped 20 percent and hit a decades-old low last year. The county’s jail, which had been under court-ordered monitoring because of dangerous overcrowding, now has empty beds. Participation in specialized drug courts has increased and recidivism among newly released offenders has dropped.